My dear Tomasz flew out to Fairbanks bought a bike and joined me for a 3 week tour of Alaska. This trip was better than anything I could have imagined. We rode through Denali National Park, across the Denali Highway, down to Valdez, ferried over to Whittier and hitched up to Palmer before he flew back to the cement society of New York City.
Our first 7 miles on the road together and we found an excellent excuse to stop... a gin distillery, with vodka tastings! A few more hours and Skinny Dick's opened up special just for us. Stories of the bush over beers to learn why "global warming is a farce." Next came Healy, we arrived at midnight just in time to camp next to the Euphoria Rave, music blaring til 5 am. Any other day this would be great, but bikers need their rest! Sharpie lived in town and offered his beautiful home for an extra day of sleep. He shared wine and stories of working graveyard shift while spotting Halley's Comet during an Alaskan winter's night. 92 miles down the park road, one small tumble, 3 grizzlies, caribou, and a perfect view of Mount Denali. The park was beautiful, but we both agreed that riding the Denali Highway was a much more special secluded treat. Bard and his camper were parked at a vista and offered up several beers and warm company... he's a bus driver in the park and remembered seeing our giddy grinning faces riding down the rode a few days back. Rain came and so did the lineup of lodges! It was 4th of July weekend and the Alpine Creek Lodge hosted an open party with free food and a live band. Five burgers later when we were getting ready to go, it started pouring and the owner offered up a room to stay. I won the raffle, complimentary food and a room good anytime this year! Rain and mud, struggles and smiles! The best potato bacon soup of my life. Alaskan Ali from miserable Missouri smiled sweeter than sugar as she was going to announce her engagement that night... followed by crazy Marianne who learned to curse and drink as a grandmother and wasn't afraid to use her gun. Perfect camp site by the glacier fed river on our way over Thompson Pass. Then, our Warm Shower's host Jeremy in Valdez and his delicious salmon dinner. A ferry ride through the sound and a lovely Mormon family adopted us, offering their beautiful home as refuge for Tom's last day in the state.
It's the first time a partner joined me on my journey and I'm so happy to learn I don't have to do it alone. Tomasz has traveled the world and I felt honored to share my style of camping across a country with this great man. I have a million memories from our time spent together. I'm keeping them tucked away deep in my heart for the long, cold, lonely nights. I can't thank you enough, my dear for making Alaska so special.